No? Well you just might be anyway…
Lets talk Microfibers. A microfiber is tiny fragment of plastic, from the kind of plastic that is used to make synthetic fabrics. These fibers are shed from synthetic polyester clothing in the washing machine. They are so small they are not caught in your washing machine filter or at the wastewater plant, but are washed IN THEIR TRILLIONS into the environment.
Every time the fabrics are washed, the water carries away some of these fibers, which end up in the ocean. Unfortunately, as green as fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles may seem, it happens just as easily with those garments as it does with new ones. It is estimated that there may be 1.4 million trillion microfibers in the ocean.
What happens next? They end up in the food chain. Then they end up in YOU and your FAMILY. Plastic fibers are now showing up in fish and shellfish sold in in California and Indonesia for human consumption. One paper showed that microfibers are responsible for 85 percent of shoreline pollution across the globe. One-third of fish caught in the UK are contaminated with microplastic. Another study found 83 percent of drinking water samples around the world were contaminated.
That’s a LOT of plastic getting inside us.
What can i do? There ARE ways to reduce this impact. The Plastic Pollution Coalition lists 15 right here.
One very important way is to stick as much as possible to natural fibers. Shop organic wool, cotton, silk and linen. If the many spectacular natural properties of clothing made from these fibers wasn’t incentive enough to shop natural, their lower impact on our environment, and subsequently our health, should be.
The Story of Stuff has a great short video that explains this perfectly. See The Story of Microfibers here.
Then shop natural fibers.